Heading to the North Island of New Zealand? Not sure where to go? There are a few must see places, some of them obvious … others, not so obvious. The North Island is probably most famous for its geothermal activity centred around the bustling town of Rotorua. In contrast the island is also known for its rolling green hills and picturesque coastline. Auckland, New Zealand's capital city is also located on the North Island and is a great starting point for any New Zealand adventure.
A trip to the North Island of New Zealand would not be complete without visiting the geothermal fields surrounding Rotorua. Rotorua is primarily a tourist town and has a thriving tourist industry based around the spectular geothermal fields that are home to some of the largest and most impressive geothermal displays in the world. Rotorua is also the gateway to a number of ski fields and a huge range of adventure sports and activities, some unique to the area. Thrill seekers can try the Luge, the Zorb, OGO, the Schweeb and Railcruising which were all invented in the area. Nature lovers will enjoy the surrounding bushland and local wildlife parks and those who enjoy rest and relaxation will love the local mud baths and mineral hot pools. Rotorua accommodation is plentiful with a great range of world class hotels in Rotorua along with all other styles of accommodation, suitable for most budgets and needs.
Hamilton, just south of Auckland, is the largest inland city in New Zealand and famously the home town of the writer of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. A commemorative statue of the character Riff Raff was erected to celebrate the huge success of the play and recognize its birth place. Hamilton is located on the Waikato River which is ideal for boating and water activities. The recently completed 11km river walkways offer scenic walking and cycling for outdoor enthusiasts and Hamilton Lake in the heart of the city is another scenic spot for picnics and walks. The local arts, culture and heritage are rich and diverse and worthy of exploration. Hamilton accommodation covers all styles of accommodation ranged from B & B's to motels and hotels.
Palmerston North, a university town, has a happening vibe and a chic restaurant and cafe scene. There is an active arts and theater community in this city, so taking in a local production is a must. New Zealanders are passionate about their Rugby Union and Palmerston North is the home of the New Zealand Rugby Museum, which houses New Zealand's largest collection of Rugby Union memorabilia and records. The collection includes some of the rarest Rugby artefacts in the world and Rugby enthusiasts will find it easy to spend a day exploring the museum. The Te Manawa Museum contains a mix of art, history and science and is interesting for both young and old while Owlcatraz Wildlife Park lets you get up close and personal with New Zealand's native birds in a cage free environment. Palmerston North accommodation caters for all types of travelers and is generally good value for money. There is a great range of accommodation options from budget to luxury and everything in between.
If time permits, Auckland and Wellington are other great cities to visit and the Bay of Plenty is simply stunning. The north island of New Zealand offers a plethora of holiday options each with its own unique offerings and charm.